After last night’s loss to the Clippers on ring night, the Lakers looked like a team that still needs work. The Lakers are back to playing basketball after the shortest off-season in NBA history. Last night, it clearly showed that the Lakers have to work on conditioning and team chemistry.
The first half was an indication on how the veterans on the team are not used to playing with the new guys. It was sloppy to say the least. Players were mishandling the ball and turning it over quite too often. They also seemed to lack energy, and the Clippers took advantage of that. For the first time before the start of last season, LeBron James was playing off ball and Dennis Shroder was the starting point guard. It didn’t bode too well for the Lakers as James seemed lost at times since he wasn’t initiating the offense. Coach Frank Vogel has been known to experiment with lineups early in the season to see what he has. I’m not sure if Schroder starting at point guard will work, but we’ll have to see what happens in the next few games. Schroder did however look great with the second unit and Montrezl Harrell.
Marc Gasol, who started at center, didn’t see the ball too often and it seemed to negate his uncanny passing ability. If the Lakers are to have better movement, Gasol will have to play at the top of the key so he can overlook the defense and make the right play. The Lakers did turn it on in the second half, as most of the guys started to get their legs from under them. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Lakers couldn’t take the lead when they were within one point at multiple times during the game.
It would’ve been nice to win on ring night, but coach Vogel and the staff will look at tape and see what they can do and make adjustments. It’s a long season for a team in which most of the players just finished playing in an NBA Finals just a few short months ago. Guys will need to work on conditioning, and the chemistry part will come as soon as more games are played. The Lakers will be just fine. One game at a time, and try to build a special chemistry that they had last season.